Houston Central Station is finally open, though in a much less impressive form than it might have been.
Houston’s first new rail station in nearly 14 months [opened] Wednesday, but it won’t serve its main purpose – connecting riders on multiple lines – until Metro overcomes persistent delays in expanding its service.
Central Station Main, as the stop is called, is the link between the existing Red Line along Main and the upcoming Green and Purple lines that will start service in April. The station is on Main Street between the new tracks on Capitol and Rusk.
Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman Jerome Gray said officials have already seen rider interest in the station as it neared completion. Opening it adds another stop to the Red Line in the bustling downtown area.
“People, I’m sure, are looking forward to it,” Gray said. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Central Station Main is a scaled-down version of what officials first proposed. The winner of a design competition was a bold proposal by the international firm Snohetta, spearheaded by a New York-based designer, Craig Dykers, a UT Austin grad whose parents live in Houston.
As officials worked to reconcile cost concerns with Dykers design, they feared running out of time to build the station and scrapped the Snohetta proposal in favor of a generic, albeit expanded, station.
See here and here for the background. It’s a shame the design was scaled back, but it’s still good to see tangible evidence of progress. I’ve been seeing trains running along the east-west tracks at the western end of downtown lately. The official opening date appears to have crept back a little, to the end of April, but we’re getting there. It’s only two months away. I’m ready for it, and I’m sure they are, too. Write On Metro has more.